Nigel Bond has had a long, varied career, more successful than most but at 45 knows that he is down to the colours.

It was therefore gratifying to see this genuinely nice man win the inaugural Caesarscasino.com World Snooker Shootout in Blackpool.

Bond made an immediate breakthrough on turning professional, reaching the semi-finals of his first ranking event, the 1989 International.

A year later he reached the Grand Prix final and soon became established as a regular face on TV in the era of Stephen Hendry, the player who most stopped him going on to be more successful.

It was Hendry who beat him in that Grand Prix final and for four successive years at the Crucible from 1993, including in the final in 1995.

In 1996, Bond got a snooker in the decider against John Higgins and ended up beating him 9-8 on the final black to win the British Open.

He also won the 1997 Scottish Masters and reached a career high ranking of fifth but his career was undoubtedly affected by the off-table pressure of having a son, Daniel, born with a heart defect.

A family man, Nigel would have given away every trophy in the world to make his son well again.

His form deteriorated and he eventually dropped out of the top 32.

There have still been highpoints in recent times. In 2006, he beat Hendry 10-9 on a re-spotted black in the first round of the World Championship.

A couple of years ago he won the gold medal in the World Games.

But his Shootout win marks a return to the big time and proves that a good snooker brain, born from experience, is useful for such a format.

Who won this new event barely mattered. This was all about showcasing snooker as a sport that can provide entertainment.

The players, to their credit, embraced it and most fans seem to have been won over.

It will return, of that I’ve no doubt, and hopefully a few of those who watched it believing snooker to be boring will tune into the German Masters this week.


Betty Logan said...

Is it realy a surprise that 00-147 himself, Mr Bond won the shoot-out?

Dexter said...

Nigel IS one of the few characters still in the game. Well done to him.

Great tournament and a worthy winner.

I hope this format of snooker is the way forward.

Anonymous said...


Theres a few internet idiots that now want to Adapt shootout in to a Ranking Tournament.

i enjoyed the Shootout but unlike other sports when theres innovations in snooker it brings out all that Rubbish.

Why cant they just Enjoy it as it is without all these Knee Jerk Rubbish snooker seems to attract.

Dave H said...

As a once a year entertainment it has its place

The only other event it could possibly be incorporated into is the Premier League

Witz78 said...

Hi Wild

I'll be one of the "internet idiots" then.........

I dont see any harm at all in a minor ranking event based on the Sky Shootour format and dont see what the problems are?

Yes wed only be talking minor ranking points out of a tour with potentially hundreds of thousands of points available as of next season so it would hardly make or break a players season, but as seen with the World Open earlier this season, the shorter format, the cream would still rise to the top IF ranking points were available.

I suspect in the last 64 and last 32 this weekend when there was less money at stake and more of a party atmosphere, the outsiders seized their opportunities that wouldnt normally be there in a ranking equivalent.

Anonymous said...

totally Agree Dave they Could Play More Matches in Less Dates under this Format so it frees up More Weeks for other Events.

WILD said...


under your ludicrous idea it would be the equivalent of 9 ball Pool players entering 8 ball tournaments and getting Ranking points for the 9 ball Rankings.

They different Rules.

what other Sport would have Different Rules in Different Tournaments.

Name me 1 ?

Thats the first sign of a sport thats lost the plot and dont think the Rules they have is good enough.

i happen to think the Rules has never been a issue with why snooker been going down in recent years.

you banging on about Darts well Darts Rules hasn't changed in the last 30+ years but the sport has.

Why ?

Answer Better Management at top level we in snooker dont need to change the fundamentals of the sport however one off fun events like these will add to that unlike your ideas Detract from what snooker is.

Anonymous said...

very well done Mr Bond.
a worthy winner.
good guy too!

tournament was very good to watch. less than 5 "boring" matches.

Redandblackblog said...

Witz78 you couldn't make it a ranking event as one frame snooker involves a lot of luck, and not least has different rules, so that would be plainly stupid. However, I loved the event and do hope it has a regular place on the circuit. Incidently Dave I presume century aren't included in official records bearing in mind the rules are different with ball in hand etc?

Anonymous said...

you couldnt add centuries to the list from this, surely rabb. some might. those eager for....

as a side note, were the pockets templated to tournament standard?

Anonymous said...

The ShootOut is good enough as it is, a once a year bit of fun and entertainment. It does not need to be turned into a ranking event. Congrats to 00147 on winning.


Anonymous said...

Nigel Bond is a character? Dexter you must have some fun friends

Anonymous said...

1138, you obviously dont know nigel off the table or you wouldnt post such a silly comment. i bet you think all the ones who look stuffy and serious on tv are boring when not at "their work"

snookerplayer said...

I'd think it would be worth having 2 or 3 of these events minimum tbh rather than just one to try and get snooker back on the map again.
Have hardly met anyone who didnt enjoy it immensely and its worth building on at the moment.
Obviously keep the big events like the Masters, UK and Worlds as they are though.
Also I'd have absolutely no objection to playing "ball in hand" at every event, would do away with the controversial miss rule once and for all, plus speed the game up to everyone's advantage.

snookerplayer said...

Also another thing good about this event was it allowed the players personalities to shine through, something the sport has often been criticised for not showcasing.
If you remember John Virgo used to often look very miserable when playing a proper match, yet once you had seen his Higgins routine, you couldn't help but laugh.

WILD said...


Dave When you see Jimmy around give him one between his legs.

Total idiot

TazMania said...

Dave do you think it is a good idea to use the shirts used in the shootout on all non-ranking events, and sell it as merchindise. That may be one way of increasing revenue for WS.

Dave H said...

Not sure I'd want to see t-shirts in the Masters

TazMania said...

other than the masters, maybe in the eptc's, wuxi classic, world cup an the brazilian masters

Anonymous said...


i suggested the t-shirts as merchandise a fed days ago on here

BBVicar said...

Re: Wild.

Name you 1 sport where the rules change for different tournaments:

Cricket: 20/20, ODI and tests
Rugby: 15s and sevens
Ice Hockey: NHL and international

Any more required?

I think it a great concept that would be ruined by a proliferation of events in ayear. The public interest would peak and then fall within a couple of years.